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CONFERENCE NEWS: Ken Kragen to Keynote Americana Music Association Conference (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Ken Kragen will deliver the keynote address for the 2003 Americana Music Association Conference to be held in Nashville, TN on September 18-20. The keynote address will be held on the afternoon of September 18 in the main ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown and is open to registrants of the 4th annual conference.

Ken Kragen has managed some of the world's most important entertainers, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Trisha Yearwood, Olivia Newton John, The Bee Gees, The Smothers Brothers and many others. He was the creator of "We Are the World", "Hands Across America", and Cisco System's "NetAid". During the past few years, Kragen has devoted an increasing amount of his time to consulting work for leading corporations in the United States.

Kragen has produced a variety of film and television projects, ranging from the ground-breaking "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" on CBS to Kenny Rogers' "Gambler" movies, and numerous series, mini-series and films. He and Quincy Jones produced a portion of the 1992 Presidential Inauguration. He has written the best selling book "Life is a Contact Sport" and has lectured at USC, University of Tennessee and Harvard. For the past 10 years, he has taught courses at UCLA's Extension Program based on his unique concepts of career development and formulas for advancing projects to a higher level of excellence. Kragen is most proud of receiving the United Nations Peace Medal for the creation of "Hands Across America" and "We Are the World" making him one of a mere handful of private citizens around the world to receive this honor.

A graduate of Harvard Business School, Kragen has consulted for Cisco Systems, New York Life Insurance, IBM, Polaroid, Interface Carpeting Company, The Hollywood Reporter and many more. In addition, he has been celebrated by the NAACP, the Los Angeles Advertising Women, and the Boys And Girls Club of America. He received two MTV Awards, An American Music Award, several Emmy nominations, EBONY's American Black Achievement Award, and Manager of the Year Award from the Conference of Personal Managers. He is the only individual ever elected President of both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. He was Alumnus of the Year at the University of California, Berkeley.

The 2003 Americana conference features three days of panels, seminars and discussion on timely industry issues along with performances from top artists within the Americana genre, In addition, the 2nd annual Americana Awards show will be held on September 19 at the Renaissance Hotel and will honor artistic merit and achievement within the genre. Among the highlights of last year's show was the final public performance from Johnny and June Carter Cash. Johnny was also honored with the inaugural 'Spirit of Americana' Free Speech Award, presented by the AMA in conjunction with the First Amendment Center.

A few of the confirmed performers for the 2003 Conference include Allison Moorer, the Derailers, Jack Ingram, Joe Ely, Kathleen Edwards, Ricky Skaggs, and Rodney Crowell.

The 2003 Americana Conference is sponsored in part by: Gibson/Baldwin, BMI, Welk Music Group, First Amendment Center, The Nashville Scene, echomusic, No Depression Magazine, SESAC, Rounder Records, Dreamworks, Lost Highway, Universal South, ASCAP, Jack of Hearts/Blue Corn, Americdisc, Merlefest, Paste Magazine, Compadre Records, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Al Moss Promotion, Dualtone Music Group, Back Porch/Real World/Narada, Western Beat Entertainment, Harp Magazine, Singer Magazine, Americana Entertainment, Oh Boy Records, The Media Room PR and Sonicbids. — Edited by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

International Music Managers Forum to Meet at CMJ for First Time

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — For the first time, the International Music Managers Forum will be part of the CMJ Music Marathon in New York, October 22-25. A full schedule of panels and events will focus on the challenges facing today's music manager. – edited by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

NAMM Sets Attendence Records

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — NAMM’s 11th Summer Session July 18-20 in Nashville came to a close after three action-filled days of commerce, artist appearances and educational seminars. At the close of the show, NAMM, the International Music Products Association, reported a two percent increase in registered attendance, setting another all-time record for the summer trade show.

At the show, both buyers and exhibitors displayed a strong sense of optimism about the second half of 2003. “We are gratified that so many of our members had a successful show experience,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO, NAMM. “It’s a privilege for the NAMM staff to serve the music product industry in this way. At the same time, our Members can be proud to know that the proceeds from these events help us achieve our mission to unify, lead and strengthen the industry and create more active music makers.”

Preparations are already underway for the 2004 NAMM Show, the industry’s next gathering, which will be held January 15-18, 2004 in Anaheim, California.